by Philip Moss
Originally released in June 2017, Crumb’s Locket EP preceded this year’s debut long player, Jinx, by almost two years. But this startling four track collection is now finally available on vinyl this week, and is certainly worth revisiting.
Opening track, Plants, shines with Twin Peaks’ soundtrack guitars, while Jesse Brotter’s bass spins a Jazz groove that flits in and out of focus. But the real charm of Locket is its space. Everything seems to happen in its own time, at the right time. And where Gabe Wax’s production felt a little soporific in places on Jinx – at times quashing the songs’ natural dynamics – Locket shines brightly. Thirty-Nine positions singer, Lila Ramani, as a tremendous lyrical enigma, before it heads off into a swirling instrumental brimming with sci-fi psyche. Before the title track brings this short collection to a close in somewhat forced fashion. Despite some fuzzy guitar flourishes, Ramani’s voice is further forward in the mix, however, her melodies are less interesting than what has come before, with the musicality more restrained and predictable.
Backtracking on groups who’ve since gone onto bigger things with more widespread success can often reveal holes. But Locket demonstrates quite the opposite – on the whole, it is the sound of a band who had already found their feet.
Secret Meeting score: 75